A Montreal school introduced a gender-neutral dress code and it caused quite a stir

The subject surrounding school dress codes has always been a hot topic and has recently caused a stir in several Montreal schools.

On May 17, the students of the Père-Marquette school protested against the school’s “restrictive” dress code.

The conflict arose when various students were removed from their classrooms after a dress code assessment left many young girls feeling “humiliated”. The debacle immediately sparked controversy among the student body and even made its way onto social media.

Since then, further steps have been taken regarding school dress codes across the city. On May 18, a high school in Montreal’s Mile End, École Robert-Gravel, officially adopted a gender-neutral dress code.

The high school has said goodbye to its ban on spaghetti strap shirts – saying students can now dress however they want as long as underwear and private parts are not shown.

École Robert-Gravel’s decision to implement this new dress code left many happy, confused and worried.

Ronald Jean-Pierre, the school principal, spoke to La Presse saying: “What you have to understand is that there were teachers who thought exactly like these parents (the mothers of girls who wanted the code changed). We had to find a way to make everything work and everyone agree.”

Discussions regarding the abolition of the dress code at Robert-Gravel High School began last year. At that time, Robert Jean-Pierre asked teachers to refrain from intervening if they saw students wearing clothing deemed “inappropriate”.

In an older publication published by Lycée Robert-Gravel, the dress code stated that “skirts must be extended to mid-thigh (ex: two palms wide above the middle of the knee) provided that students do not wear sheer pantyhose or leggings underneath, if the skirt is sheer, then they should fall to the middle of the knee.

According to the school principal, no serious uproar or problematic event has taken place since the dress code changed. “We saw shoulders, spaghetti straps, bra straps, but no problematic situations,” Jean-Pierre told La Presse.

It is important to note that the updated dress code for Robert-Gravel High School has not yet been posted on the school board’s website.

The cover image of this article was used for illustrative purposes only.

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